Thursday, October 26, 2006

My thoughts on bluffing

In my experience (not counting semi or half bluffs) there are 3 types of bluff:-

  1. The lying bastard bluff.
  2. The naughty school boy bluff.
  3. The bluffer wouldn't melt in my mouth bluff.

The LBB (lying bastard bluff)

This bluff is the most common in good poker games and probably the least common in everyday life. This bluff takes skill, and to really understand the bluff - you have to know a little bit about the bluffer and the bluffee. The bluffer - or in this case the lying git. Think about this, what has the bluffer got to gain from this outlandish lie? In poker this could mean that he or she wants to grab a few extra chips, or cripple you and is quite happy to incapacitate themselves during the story telling. That in itself is a powerful statement. Ask yourself these questions when you are thinking about bluffing:-

  • Is it believeable after looking at the hand history? Are you coming across as a conservative player? If yes, then this is a good bluff. If no, then you may very well be called on that alone...
  • Will the bluff if folded, incapacitate completely the bluffee? If this is a yes.. then be prepared to be called. If no... then this is a good time to pull the wool over their eyes.
  • Do you have a history? If you have been called before and found to be bluffing by the bluffee, then do not even think about bluffing!! You have a high chance of being called!! They know this, you must understand this. If your history is that you have been called and found to have a monster pocket pair or maybe a Big Slick... you are in an even money chance if the caller was the same bluffee last time (proceed with caution), and even better seated if it wasn't the bluffee who called you last time.
  • Do you have an element of truth in your lie? Now... a spoon full of sugar definitely makes the medicine go down... BUT NOT if the guy you are spinning lies to is a freeky deeky DOCTOR of medicine. This means that if you already have a half decent truth in your hand and believe because of position and flipped over cards - that they are on the same size hand or slightly over then this is a good time to bluff. You may get a call at first - but if you keep shovelling that crap... you may eventually stink them out and pull off a big bluff. IF however they are in position and the flop was good to them... they may call you down to the end. THIS IS A VERY BAD BLUFF... believe me - I know. Learn to spot this...Ouchy.
  • How do you stand against the rest of the table regarding amount of chips? Low chips mean that your bluffs are usually going to be very weak - you may have the nuts... but someone is always ready take a chance that your luck will not hold out forever... hence this is a bad time to bluff. Play with the nuts and give yourself the best opportunuity to win. Now - conversly, if you are chip leader, then your bluffs have serious weight. The bluffee may well think that you could put their whole chip stack at risk if they called. This a great time to bluff, even better if there is an element of truth about it.
  • How do you appear to the table? You may well have been betting high with great hands and never showing one! To you, you are playing conservatively... but to everyone else - you are a crazy lying biatch and no one so far has had the balls to call you. DO NOT BLUFF OFF THE BACK OF SEVERAL (3 or more) UNSHOWN POT TAKE DOWNS!! Golden rule that. In real life this would represent a tall athletic guy chatting up a bootilicious lady of the highest order with "I'm on a semi pro football/basket ball player" (reasonable bluff if they don't know the sport) "I am single because I can't find that special person - guess I am just a little bit to picky, but I have a son and I only want the best for him" (great bluff - but you are not looking long term here... this is a hit and run bluff) Now... so far the lady has been impressed getting quite excited. "Actually I do some work for charity since my boy has cancer" (now that is again a reasonable bluff - but there is an awful amount for her to process! You are not bigging yourself up too much) "We are planning on a trip around the world with our lottery winnings - do you fancy coming?" Right lets stop there. The bluff kept on going and people can only swallow so much shit before they get all huffy. Now move that last bluff right to the beginning... and maybe you have a uncallable bluff. If ALL the first bits of information were true but no collaborating evidence was provided... then the actual lie would be very hard to believe. Deal with it. Don't bluff unless you have been seen to be straight and truthful.

The NSBB (Naughty School Boy Bluff)

This is a school boy error... when put in a position where only an outlandish lie/bluff will save your ass... be prepared for the bluff to be called and dragged over hot coals. Do not bluff to the max on the back of another bluff which was called. If someone begins to ask questions, then there is no shame in letting everyone know that you were massaging the truth a small amount. If you continue to spin awful lies after you are called and raised then you will go down very quickly... very very quickly. There is always room for a NSBB though, and that is if the bluffee is also on a NSBB. So like school kids you continue to spin trashy truths to each other until one of you over steps the mark and then you are in trouble. You can use the NSBB... but only against itself.

The BWMMM (Bluffer Wouldn't Melt in My Mouth Bluff)

This is an artful dodge and the aim of this bluff to send many different signals trying to misdirect the truth... this being that you have the nuts... or the pits. The former is generally why we would like to use this one. The main reason is because most people will be a little talkative when building up a lie, but when trying to hide strength we go all tight lipped. It's true! So, talk and talk and nudge and grin with this bluff. Lets say we have the nuts, we know we have the opponent out of position and let's say we can only put them on a certain set, or pair or even a flush (but you have the nut flush). Right, the idea is to get information from them... because you can have fun here - the signals you pick up now, may well help you later. This of course will enrage some people. If they become angry they will begin to muster up a bluff which may end up with them all in against you. Others will smile sweetly, as they will feel comfortable that they have beaten you once you start shit talking. YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION! This information is what you need to win matches. Ok, so you want to appear weak... keep talking. Naturally we are all geared up to showing the complete opposite of what we want to show in true life so that we can pull the wool over someones eyes and lie to them. If you try to hide a good hand you will find yourself over acting weak... do not. Act as strong as you can muster - but don't make the mistake of dropping your chips in too quickly. Make sure that they see a moments hesitation first. If you are bluffing, then get your chips in quick - no hesitation! Important to remember this... I have called someones bluff based upon them dropping their chips in quickly. Infact they had a hand and was half bluffing... but the show of strength was a bluff. Interestingly they were on the button and I was short stacked... the raise callled me all-in. ALL these factors pointed towards that he had me beat... but it was because EVERYTHING was pointing this way I became suspicious. I called and won that hand.

Important to realise that we all bluff in poker and slight misdirection is accepted. If you outright talk a complete pack of lies to someone.. they will eventually begin to believe you. Anger may tip them over the edge eventually. SO, if you sense a genuine strength when trying to misdirect them... think about what they may hold once more, look suddenly beaten and ripped off.. then call or go all-in. Drop the axe.

Bluffer Cuba

Winter retreat...

Hey ho people!

The last few weeks have been hecTIC! If I wasn't going first out on live poker games, I was almost being run over or winning internet tournies (WOOHOO!)... I beleive the cruel cruel god of luck (good and bad) has been keeping her eye on me for a number of years.

You see, if you 'chance it' every now and then, and you hang loose to see what happens - then you are rolling the dice of life. Yes, you can arrange the situation so that you are making a good bet - but sometimes this will go wrong. Lets take for example crossing a road. You are most likely to die from a RTA than pretty most any other accident (in this country - lol). If you don't drive then these odds reduce slighly. Well, sit on a moped and drive into traffic and your odds of becoming a splat on someones bonnet are increased somewhat. So we all take risks - yet for some they are measured (belt and braces) and for others... they are fool hardy (by the seat of their pants).

Me? I like to play on the danger side on some things, meaning that my bets are more risky but with a higher pay out. Therefore I in the long run (according to probability) will not quite cut even. BUT... to others I may appear a little lucky. The Luck She Devil... she knows my name and probably loves to mess with my head. Generally though I make conservative decsions based upon long term gains... which will even out my odds of completely screwing up! Now I sweat lots.

The Luck She Devil, yes she watches me and gives me the hits I need to keep on making those instinctive gambles, then one day.... BAM! She has me. Orrrr I live in hope that on the day she decides to concentrate on someone less fortunate... when I make a number of fantastic decisions which change my life for ever (for the good). Thats when I can sit back and grin... hands behind my head - watch the world go by with my friends and family and be content in OUR smug, safe, conservative existence.

My lotto numbers today are..... don't tempt me.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Weekend watch

Hartcliffe (Bristol)
What a cool place! From the inside of G-man's* car, it looked like one big holiday camp without the sun/sea/sand! Picture high rise apartments and children running free with what appeared to be no malice in their innocent heads what so ever! Wow - why can't all low income, segregated ghettos be this nice? After a brief stop at the local co-operative supermarket, I fancied myself as a local. After all - I had been reffered to as "my darlin" 3 times during a transaction between myself and a rather ill looking cash register operator, and I was still breathing!

The poker game went well! After a shakey start.. my chip count started to rise above average... then down again. Of the 29 initial players I came 5th and just one place outside being paid! Lol... a good laff was had by all! At my expense... bloody card sharks!!

Roll on the good time weekend...


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bring a book

How you doing? Tonight is the night, my first live open poker night with what looks to be 20 other players! I hope I can pick my way into a number of good hands and make a nuisance of myself. One thing which is niggling me at the moment is my promise that I would not play beginners any more.... I believe there will be a number of first timers at this match. They will calling all-ins with just 2 pair and seeing the flop with 8-2 unsuited in the pocket... yep, this is going to be painful. With that in mind, I shall have to be cautious at first and try to bleed my opponents on good hands, I very much doubt that many of my hands will be won by ME on the river tonight... I hate Jacks and I could very well be out early and waiting for my housemate to finish. He is a beginner.

Gary 'Jack Hater' Cuba

Monday, October 02, 2006

Turning a deaf ear

Tinnitus! Yes, the word we all love to hear (oppps - or not) after enduring several hours of painfully load music in a night club or bar. My ears were ringing on Sunday after a night out dancing and drinking. I also play my MP3 player when I run, walk and sit on buses... quite loudly. All this puts me in the 'at risk' group of youngsters who are apparently damaging their hearing beyond repair....

Therefore, after not liking what I am reading on the net... I bought some cheapo ear plugs to see if this helps with the ringing... and use my MP3 player less or with less volume. If you suffer from ringing ears after going out... I suggest you follow suit. Now all I have to do is invent a cool looking ear plug and I'm a millionaire!



Sunday, October 01, 2006

Every cloud has a nasty dark look to it

Hey Blog Blaggers! The end of another weekend... looking forward to work tomorrow.

I finally manged to pick up my beast of a bike Saturday! It is bloody awesome, apart from having to break pretty sharpish once... it was injury free and enjoyment - plenty!

I am posting this entry just as I go to bed after being ejected of a poker game, coming 31st of 178. The top 17 won entry into a poker match with prizes exceeding $7,500... and eventually a possible seat at the APC finals in Goa, with a $1,000,000 prize fund. Gutted, but I will try again soon...

Cuba Gutz
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